The 20 Best Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Schools in 2023

Best Doctor of Physical Therapy - featured image

Physical therapy plays an indispensable contribution not only to the medical world but to society in general. It is a profession specializing in restoring people’s ability to control and move parts of their bodies when afflicted by illness or injury.

If you are passionate about serving others and possess high levels of tolerance to stress, you are poised for success as a physical therapist! It is a growing field that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects to grow by 21% from 2020 to 2030.

This translates to an average of more than 15,000 physical therapist jobs per year for the same period. With that said, if you have the passion and goal to be a part of people’s journey to recovery, you should earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and be a licensed Physical Therapist.

To begin, you will need a doctorate in physical therapy from an institution accredited by the CAPTE or the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. It’s the degree that will qualify you for a state licensure examination.

METHODOLOGY

Physical Therapy is an important discipline that helps people lead better, healthier, fully functioning lives. With a doctorate in this field, professionals become better equipped to deliver the services as required by the job.

They become qualified for more opportunities at research-focused or executive levels in a variety of settings. Indeed, Doctors of Physical Therapy have the best career paths at their disposal.

Because finding the most suitable graduate program isn’t easy for most students, we compiled the best Online Doctorate in Physical Therapy schools offering them.

The factors considered in creating this list all point to academic excellence and overall student learning experience:

  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy classes are held online or in a blended or hybrid format to accommodate non-traditional students or working professionals,
  • An online Physical Training coursework that features up-to-date principles, techniques, tools, and equipment to help shape competent experts,
  • A robust online platform that hosts the web-based classes with easy access to the relevant learning tools and readily available student resources,
  • Taught by Board-certified Physical Therapists with a doctorate in their belt,
  • Financial assistance and easy tuition arrangements for qualified doctorate students,
  • Fully accredited Online Doctor of Physical Therapy programs and specializations.

20 BEST DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY GRADUATE SCHOOLS

University of Delaware

University of Delaware

: 210 South College Ave., Newark, DE 19716
: (302) 831-2792

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) of the University of Delaware is a 2.5-year post-graduate education program. It aims to develop entry-level physical therapists into excellent and responsible professionals who integrate scientific knowledge into their clinical practice, 

  • The DPT program of the University of Delaware consists of six residency and fellowship programs. It qualifies you to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NATE).
  • The Commission accredits the DPT program of the University of Delaware on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • To qualify for admission into the program, you need to comply with these requirements:
    • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • GRE scores – must be less than five years from the date your application 
    • A total of 50 hours of observation of physical therapy-related activities under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist
    • Three letters of recommendation
      • Two letters, one of which must come from licensed physical therapists you have worked with, and
      • One may come from a former professor of an upper-level course 
    • Completion of these prerequisite courses with  a minimum grade of “C.” 
    • A completed application with the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
    • Payment of a $35 supplemental fee
    • A possible interview by invitation of the admissions committee

Standout Features of the University of Delaware’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware intends to support the practice of physical therapy with an outstanding post-graduate education. The university’s commitment to using science in its desire to provide quality clinical services is the force that motivates its Department of Physical Therapy to produce outstanding researchers and leaders in the PT industry.

Did you know?

The University of Delaware is the Alma Mater to three graduates signatories to the US Declaration of Independence. 

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Ohio State University

The Ohio State University

: 281 W Lane Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, Columbus, Ohio
: (614) 292-9444

Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy

Ohio State University, located in Columbus, offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree, one of the best in the United States. The school’s state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and world-class faculty are among the factors that make their DPT program a cut above the rest.

  • Ohio State University has more than 60 years of experience in providing quality PT education. 
  • Ohio State’s DPT degree is a nine-semester program. It encompasses two terminal clinical internships, two intermediate clinical internships, and one specialized clinical practicum.
  • If you seek admission to Ohio State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program, these are the school’s requirements for admission:
    • A bachelor’s degree
    • Completion of these prerequisite courses:
      • General Biology with lab
      • General Chemistry with lab 
      • General Physics with lab
      • Introductory Psychology
      • Human Growth and Development
      • Human Anatomy with lab
      • Human Physiology
      • Exercise Physiology
      • Statistics
    • At least 40 hours of PT observation under the supervision of a registered physical therapist
    • Three letters of recommendation:
      • One from a licensed physical therapist you have worked with
      • One from a former teacher or professor
      • One from a supervisor or employer (in current or previous employment)
    • Personal essay
    • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your primary language
    • Official transcripts

Standout Features of Ohio State University’s Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program

The Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy program at Ohio State University can give you the privilege to obtain the competencies required for professional practice. All of these will be given to you through an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, a superb clinical experience, and world-class healthcare facilities.

Did you know?

All of Ohio State’s four regional campuses are tobacco-free.

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University of California San Francisco

University of California San Francisco

: 1500 Owens Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94158
: (415) 353-7598

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The University of California San Francisco’s three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program entails a full-time theoretical presentation and 34 weeks of clinical experience. It aims to equip students, educators, and professionals with the knowledge and clinical reasoning skills they need to work effectively as physical therapists. 

  • The DPT program at UCSF focuses on delivering theoretical and clinical knowledge of medical and applied sciences. It also intends to develop the students’ critical thinking skills and clinical reasoning abilities to prepare them for the profession’s challenges. 
  • Graduates of UCSF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program excel in the National Physical Therapy Examination. They are also considered top contenders for positions in PT practice.
  • The UCSF Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • To qualify for admission to the university’s DPT program, there are specific requirements that you need to comply with:
    • A bachelor’s degree
    • A completed application through the PTCAS
    • Completion of prerequisite coursework
    • Submission of a signed acceptance form
    • Payment of a $500 nonrefundable Registration Fee Deposit
    • Official transcripts
    • Three letters of recommendation through PTCAS — one of which must come from a licensed physical therapist
    • Official GRE scores
    • At least 100 hours of clinical observation, as supervised by a licensed physical therapist
    • An essay – answering a specific question from the school

Standout Features of the University of California San Francisco’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The University of California San Francisco is a pioneer in physical therapy programs in the country. Its years of existence and experience in molding students to become professional PT practitioners have made it one of the best PT schools in the US. 

Aside from focusing on theoretical and clinical studies, UCSF’s DPT program promotes a collaborative atmosphere where students help one another to succeed. Studying at UCSF can be a guarantee of learning the skills every physical therapist would need to succeed in the practice of their profession.

Did you know?

Among the ten campuses of the University of California system, the UCSF is the only campus devoted exclusively to health.

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University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

: 500 Boynton Health Service Bridge, 410 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
: (612) 625-2661

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The University of Minnesota’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program aims to provide excellence in physical therapy education. It intends to equip you with knowledge, outstanding PT skills, leadership, and altruistic qualities to serve a diverse society effectively. 

  • The curriculum comprises 34 months of graduate study, seven semesters of academic coursework and research, and two semesters of full-time clinical work.
  • Graduates of the program are qualified to apply for a license under state laws.
  • If you desire to apply for enrollment at the University of Minnesota’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program, you must ensure that these requirements are met:
    • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
    • Prerequisite coursework that must be completed with a grade of “C:”
      • Biology
      • Chemistry
      • Human Anatomy
      • Human Physiology
      • Physics
      • Statistics
      • Calculus
      • Psychology
      • Medical Terminology
      • GRE scores
      • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your primary language
      • Two letters of recommendation
      • Complete immunization records

Standout Features of the University of Minnesota’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

At the University of Minnesota’s DPT program, students are always encouraged to think, act, and project the physical therapy profession. Their graduates are flexible, confident, and service-oriented practitioners. They exercise ethical values and critical thinking to uphold the well-being of their clients and foster professionalism in their practice. They are all mentored by clinical educators who are committed to improving the quality of life of people throughout the world.

Did you know?

Dr. Clarence Walton Lillehei, an American surgeon and pioneer of open-heart surgery, was a graduate of the University of Minnesota

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Alabama State University

Alabama State University

: 915 S. Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
: (334) 229-4800

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Alabama State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program educates students to accomplish a specific goal: Improve people’s health and well-being in underserved regions where the students came from.

  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at ASU is a 114-credit hour program. An entry-level physical therapy degree makes graduates eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination.
  • To qualify for enrollment, there are requirements that you must meet. These are:
    • A bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate GPA of 2.5
    • Completed prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Submission of a completed application through the ASU PTCAS
    • GRE scores
    • A total of 40 observation hours
    • Three letters of recommendation:
      • One must come from a licensed PT.
      • One may come from a former instructor
      • One may come from a former employer or advisor
    • Statement of purpose
    • Official transcripts
    • Payment of a $49 application fee

Standout Features of Alabama State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The physical therapy program of Alabama State University provides students with a supportive environment. It is designed to offer students sound mentorship and advising to ensure that you will have the opportunity to have access to information and tools you need to learn your craft.

Did you know?

Today, Alabama State University is a highly respected institution of higher learning. It started with only $500 raised by nine freed slaves.

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

: 1716 9th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233
: (205) 934-3566

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program that The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers equips students to deliver excellent patient-centered physical therapy services to people at all levels of society.

  • The DPT of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a 119-credit-hour program that you can complete in nine semesters. Graduates of bachelor’s degrees other than Physical Therapy can qualify to enroll in the program.
  • Graduates of the UAB’s DPT degree are eligible to sit in the National Physical Therapy Examination. 
  • If you desire to become a part of this program, you may apply for admission upon compliance with these requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree
    • Completion of an online PTCAS application
    • A possible personal interview by invitation
    • Completion of 75% of these prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “C.”
    • A minimum of 40 hours of documented PT observation
    • Three letters of recommendation:
      • Two letters must come from a physical therapist you have interacted with for at least 20 hours in a clinical setting. 
      • The third letter could come from a professor you have interacted with
    • GRE scores
    • Vaccination/Immunization certificates
    • Background check and drug test

Standout Features of University of Alabama at Birmingham – Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The University of Alabama’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program has more than 50 years of experience delivering outstanding education and innovative experiences. It is the first DPT program in the region to be ranked as one of the best in the United States. 

Did you know?

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is America’s first university in the southeastern region to offer a Physical Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy program. 

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University of Southern California

University of Southern California

: 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 155, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006
: (323) 442-2890

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The University of Southern California’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy offers a traditional and hybrid online Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program. This degree is known to exceed minimum educational requirements. It guarantees to prepare you for an excellent professional career in physical therapy.

  • You can complete the university’s DPT program in three years. It is a system-based curriculum consisting of an integrated lecture and on-campus laboratory experiences plus 44 weeks of clinical experience.
  • The university’s residential and hybrid DPT programs are held to the same standards.
  • To qualify for admission, you need to comply with these requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree
    • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
    • 150 hours of clinical experience in a PT setting
    • Completion of the following prerequisite courses, with a minimum grade of “C”:
      • Biological Sciences
      • Chemistry
      • Physics
      • Anatomy
      • Physiology
      • Psychology
      • Statistics and Mathematics
    • Three letters of recommendation:
      • One letter must come from a PT who has supervised you directly
      • One letter may come from your former professor 
      • One letter may come from someone who can vouch to your personal and academic potential to succeed in the program
    • Official transcripts
    • Three essays
    • Payment of a $90 application fee

Standout Features of University of Southern California’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The University of Southern California’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program consists of a distinguished faculty and cutting-edge facilities. Its mentors are composed of renowned scientists and clinicians committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills to deliver evidence-based and patient-centered physical therapy. 

Did you know?

The University of Southern California is America’s only university that earned gold medal-winning athletes in every summer Olympiad since 1912.

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San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University

: 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
: (415) 338-1111

Doctor of Physical Therapy

San Francisco State University offers an entry-level Doctor of Physical therapy degree program to prepare students to become leaders in the physical therapy industry. It aims to equip students with theoretical knowledge in medical and applied sciences and critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and problem-solving skills to allow them to do their job.

  • The university’s DPT degree is a three-year program that includes 34 weeks of clinical experience. It is accredited by the Americal Physical Therapy Association’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
  • The DPT program admits only 50 students each year.
  • Graduates of the program are qualified to take the State Licensing Examination. 
  • To qualify for enrollment, there are specific admission requirements that you need to meet. These are:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0
    • GRE scores that are not more than five years old
    • A minimum of 100 hours of physical therapist-supervised volunteer or paid experience 
    • Three letters of recommendation
      • One letter must come from a PT
      • The second and third letters may come from a former professor or employer
      • The letters must vouch to your capability to complete the program 
    • Official transcripts
    • Completion of two sets of applications
      • One application will be sent through PTCAS
      • The second application serves as a Supplemental Physical Therapy Application
    • A written essay to show proof of your English proficiency

Standout Features of San Francisco State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The DPT program at San Francisco State University is best suited for students who seek a career in rehabilitation medicine. Its clinical experiences are delivered through the university’s affiliated sites throughout the state of California.  

Did you know?

San Francisco University was formerly San Francisco State Normal School. It was the first normal school in the country to require a high school diploma from students who wished to enroll.

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Regis University

Regis University

: 3333 Regis Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80221-1099
: (303) 458-4900

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Regis University takes pride in its Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program that prepares students to become physical therapists of the modern generation. 

  • The program isn’t only about working with people with motion and mobility problems. It is about providing treatment and care to the whole person.
  • The DPT is a 110-credit hour program that you can complete in eight semesters, including 38 weeks of clinical exposure. Its courses are available via the traditional on-campus and online formats.
  • If you decide to enroll at the DPT program of Regis University, you need to abide by these admission requirements:
    • A baccalaureate degree with an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
    • A completed online application via the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
    • GRE scores
    • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your first language
    • Official transcripts
    • Three letters of recommendation:
      • One letter should come from a licensed PT
      • One letter may come from a college faculty
      • One letter may come from another physical therapist, a former professor, or a work supervisor 

Standout Features of Regis University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Regis University is committed to producing Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates who are motion and mobility experts and professionals who commit to improving people’s quality of life. They strive to make it possible by going beyond treating injuries and illnesses that limit their movement – they do it by treating the person as a whole.

Did you know?

Regis University has an on-campus physical therapy clinic that caters to students, university staff, and community members who need PT services.

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University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh

: Forbes Tower, 3600 Atwood St., Pittsburgh, PA 15260
: (412) 383-3263

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The University of Pittsburg offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program designed to give students the latest clinical and scientific knowledge about rehabilitation medicine. It also aims to develop student confidence and professionalism to assume leadership positions in the health care industry.

Aside from its traditional on-campus curriculum, the university also offers courses delivered through a hybrid format. It is a combination of traditional on-campus and online methods of conducting instructions.

  • The DPT degree of the University of Pittsburg is a 106-credit program intended for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree.
  • The DPT program is accredited by CAPTE or the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. It offers excellent laboratory experiences and state-of-the-art facilities.
  • Aside from the university’s on-campus courses, the program also offers courses in a hybrid format to meet the needs of remote learners who cannot attend on-campus classes.
  • CAPTE accredits both the traditional and hybrid curriculums. Graduates of both programs are qualified to take the National Physical Therapy Exams (NPTE).
  • To qualify for admission to the Doctor of Physical therapy program of the university, there are specific requirements that you need to comply with. These are:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • A completed online application through the university’s PTCAS application portal
    • Work experience in a PT setting – there is no required number of hours, but 150 hours is highly preferred
    • Payment of a $150 application fee
    • Short essay
    • Three letters of recommendation
      • One from a licensed physical therapist you have worked or interacted with at work
      • One from a former college professor
      • One from a work supervisor or employer
    • Official transcripts
    • GRE scores
    • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your primary language

Standout Features of the University of Pittsburg’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

As a student of the University of Pittsburg’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program, you will develop skills, knowledge, and confidence to provide care and treatment to patients. You will receive this learning from the start of the program until you begin your profession as a registered physical therapist. 

The University’s DPT program aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the program and excel as a PT professional.

Did you know?

The castle-like tower in Pittsburg is the university’s Castle of Learning. It is the second tallest university structure in the world.

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Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis

: 4444 Forest Park Ave., Suite 1101, St. Louis, MO 63108-2212
: (314) 286-1400

Doctor of Physical Therapy

At Washington University School of Medicine, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is a professional, full-time clinical doctorate course of study. It prepares students for the practice of physical therapy. It prepares you for leadership positions in your organization or community. 

  • The university’s DPT program is a full-time program you can finish in two years and eight months. It combines classroom and clinical learning that equips you with knowledge, skills, and confidence to treat patients with movement impairments.
  • The university’s DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • If you choose Washington University for your Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, you need to comply with these requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 cumulative GPA in Science, Math, and prerequisite coursework
    • Completion of the following prerequisite coursework:
      • Chemistry with labs
      • Physics with labs
      • Biology courses – This course should include cell structure and its functions,  and the functions of macromolecules
      • Anatomy with lab
      • Physiology with lab
      • Psychology, and
      • Statistics
    • Official transcripts
    • Three recommendation letters, with one coming from a former college professor
    • An essay that provides answers to questions in the application form

Standout Features of Washington University in St. Louis’ Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy of Washington University aims to provide students with an advanced approach to the science of movement. It focuses on making you understand how improper movement causes injury and impairs people’s ability to move. The university strives to produce highly sought-after physical therapists who have a high potential for PT field success.   

Did you know?

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, located within the Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the United States’ oldest teaching museums. It was established in 1881.

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Northwestern University

Northwestern University

: 645 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60611
: 312-908-8160

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy at Northwestern University is one of the largest physical therapy programs in the United States. Its size, location, and facilities allow the university to provide its students with unparalleled resources for learning. It builds the student’s confidence to lead in a competitive healthcare marketplace.

  • The DPT program at Northwestern University is a three-year program. It encompasses four main curriculums: Motor Control Framework, Clinical Education, Global Health, and Technical Standards. It makes graduates eligible for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and state licensure.
  • It is recognized officially by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • To qualify for admission to the program, there are specific requirements that you need to comply with. These are:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • Completion of these prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “C.”
    • A completed online application with PTCAS
    • Three essays – this consists of:
      • One 4,500-character or less PTCAS essay, and
      • Two 1,200-character or less Northwestern essays
    • Three letters of reference
      • One letter from a physical therapist who has supervised you in a health care setting
      • One letter from a former college professor or instructor
    • A minimum of 100 hours of verifiable PT observation
    • Payment of a $50 supplemental application fee

Standout Features of Northwestern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Northwestern University has several reasons to show why it is one of the best Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools in the country. These are:

  • NWU has a fast-growing campus that ranks highly in national surveys based on:
    • The quality of students and faculty, and
    • Its research and patient care programs.
  • NWU’s commitment to foster the well-being not only of its students and faculty but of the entire community, and
  • NWU has a team of experienced and dedicated mentors who commit to supporting the university’s tenets, programs, and advocacies.
Did you know?

Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon (NUDM) is the largest student-run charity event run by students. It has raised more than $16M since its launching in 1975. 

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University of Iowa

University of Iowa

: 500 Newton Road, 1-252 Medical Education Building, Iowa City, IA 52242-1089
: (319) 335-9791

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree of the University of Iowa is a program that strives to teach an evidence-based practice to its students. It aims to equip students with problem-solving, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning skills to allow them to provide excellent patient care and assume leadership responsibilities in the field of professional therapy.

  • The DPT degree program at the University of Iowa is a 2-1/2-year post-baccalaureate program that consists of core theoretical courses and extensive clinical experiences. 
  • It is accredited by CAPTE or the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. It is made more effective by the university’s association with a big teaching hospital that it owns.
  • If you aspire to enroll at the University of Iowa’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, you need to fulfill these requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
    • Completion of the following prerequisite courses:
      • Biological Sciences
      • Physiology
      • Anatomy
      • Chemistry
      • Physics
      • Psychology
      • Mathematics
      • Statistics
    • A completed online application through the physical therapy centralized application system (PTCAS)
    • GRE scores
    • Verifiable hours of observation to physical therapy through job shadowing, volunteer work, or direct patient care in a PT or rehabilitation setting
    • Criminal Background Checks
    • Official transcript(s)
    • Three letters of recommendation from:
      • A physical therapist you have worked with
      • A former mentor, and
      • Your employer or supervisor
    • A possible interview or interviews

Standout Features of the University of Iowa’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Iowa is a top-ranking PT program in the United States. Its tradition of excellence started in 1942 and has consistently produced outstanding PT graduates, including a licensure pass rate of 100 percent.

Did you know?

The University of Iowa was the first American school to officially endorse an LGBT student group in 1970.

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Duke University

Duke University

: 311 Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710
: 919-681-4380

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy of Duke University is a program designed to produce outstanding Physical Therapy professionals. The university makes it possible with excellent mentoring, cutting-edge research, and evidence-based clinical practice.

  • The DPT program of Duke University is a 129-credit-hour program that you can complete in three years. It is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • It consistently ranks as one of the US’s best physical therapy training programs. It also makes you eligible to sit in the National Physical Therapy Exams.
  • If Duke is your university of choice for a DPT program, these are the requirements that you need to comply with:
    • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
    • Completion of these prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “C.”
    • A completed online application through the PTCAS
    • Three letters of recommendation:
      • One letter should come from a licensed physical therapist you have worked with
      • The second letter may come from your former professor in a collegiate academic course
      • The third letter may come from another physical therapist, professor, or academic instructor
  • A minimum of 100 hours of verifiable physical therapy observation time
  • GRE scores not older than five years from the date of application
  • A possible interview by invitation of the admissions committee

Standout Features of Duke University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

As an outstanding physical therapy training program, Duke University’s DPT is synonymous with rigorous academic training and comprehensive clinical experiences. It guarantees a high potential for success in the PT field. The university’s pass rate for the 2018-2019 licensure exams was 100%, and its 2016-2018 post-graduation employment rate was 100%. 

With an innovative curriculum, expert faculty, and extensive clinical internships, you can be certain of a rewarding career if you graduate from the Doctor of Physical therapy program of Duke University.

Did you know?

The athletes of Duke University are not only excellent in their sports. They are also among the top-performing athletes in academics in the country.

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New York University Steinhardt

New York University Steinhardt

: 380 Second Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10010
: (212) 998-9400

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at New York University Steinhardt is an entry-level program. It aims to equip students with knowledge and skills through rigorous core courses and supervised clinical practice.

  • The university’s DPT is a 133-credit program. It involves a comprehensive study of the functions of different parts of the human body and their relationship to the practice of physical therapy.
  • The program strives to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to examine, evaluate and provide rehabilitative treatment to patients suffering from functional limitations due to injury or illness. It allows you to promote/maintain patients’ wellness to improve the quality of their lives.  
  • The DPT program at New York University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • The completion of the degree will make you eligible to sit for professional licensure.
  • To qualify for admission to the program, these are the requirements that you need to comply with:
    • A bachelor’s degree in any field
    • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a  4.0 scale
    • A minimum of 8 hours of verifiable observation of three physical therapy locations, including one or more in a patient setting
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0 for these prerequisite courses
    • A completed online application through the school’s PTCAS
    • Two recommendation letters, including one from a licensed physical therapist
    • Two essays
    • Official transcripts
    • GRE scores
    • A list of your service and leadership experiences
    • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your primary language
    • Payment of a $50 supplemental fee

Standout Features of New York University Steinhardt’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Since its inception, New York University Steinhardt’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program has been at the forefront of physical therapy education. Its courses are mentored by renowned leaders in the PT industry. Among the university’s DPT faculty members are a former president of the prestigious American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and an editor of the American Physical Therapy Association journal. The knowledge, skills, and experience you’ll get from New York University Steinhardt can be your key to a rewarding PT career.

Did you know?

The fastest computer in the city of New York sits at New York University. 

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Creighton University Omaha

Creighton University Omaha

: 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68178
: (402) 280-2700

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Creighton University’s The Doctor of Physical program Therapy is a benchmark that every PT program in the US tries to emulate. One of its main objectives is to produce competent and compassionate Physical Therapy professionals who rely on evidence as a basis for their decisions.

  • Like the other degree programs of Creighton University, Creighton’s DPT program upholds the Jesuit identity.
  • This 135-credit-hour degree program takes three years, with classes delivered via traditional and hybrid methods of learning.
  • For admission into Creighton University’s DPT program, these are the specific requirements that you need to comply with.
    • A bachelor’s degree or the completion of an 18- semester-hour coursework that encompasses an in-depth study in a discipline equivalent to a minor at Creighton University.
    • Completion of these prerequisite courses
    • A completed online application through the PTCAS
    • Official transcripts
    • Three letters of recommendation that attests to your potential to succeed in the program:
      • One recommendation must come from a licensed physical therapist
      • One letter may come from a former college professor 
      • The third letter may come from your supervisor or employer
    • A minimum of 60 hours of verifiable PT observations under the supervision of a physical therapist
    • GRE scores
    • Possible personal interviews

Standout Features of Creighton University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program of Creighton University is staffed by a nationally recognized faculty. It is committed to providing leadership within the PT profession and delivering expertise in specific focus areas, including research, practice, and clinical reasoning. Student learning experience and educator and student relationships are among the university’s greatest elements in high regard.

Did you know?

Creighton University Omaha’s Doctor of Physical Therapy is the first DPT program in the United States!

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Arcadia University

Arcadia University

: 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038
: (215) 572-2900

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Arcadia University is offering a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. This post-graduate program aims to provide students with behavioral, clinical, and critical thinking knowledge to apply to the healthcare industry.

  • Arcadia University’s DPT is a 110-credit program that you can finish in two years. The program runs as a traditional on-campus program or a hybrid learning format that combines online and face-to-face learning experiences.
  • Arcadia’s DPT program is accredited by CAPTE or the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. It is also recognized all over the United States.
  • To qualify for enrollment with the DPT program, you need to comply with these admission requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0
    • Completion of an online application through the PTCAS
    • Completion of these prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “C.”
      • Biological Sciences with lecture and lab
      • Anatomy and Physiology
      • Physical Sciences  with lecture and lab
      • Chemistry
      • General Physics
      • Behavioral Sciences, and
      • Statistics
    • Three letters of recommendation – with one coming from a practicing physical therapist and one from a former college professor
    • GRE scores

Standout Features of Arcadia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Arcadia University is offering a  Doctor of Physical Therapy program that adheres to the American Physical Therapy Association standards. It produces graduates that surpass the national passing average of the licensure examination on their first attempt. 

Did you know?

The Grey Towers Castle of Arcadia University is a National Historic Landmark. This structure is surrounded by unlimited stories of ghosts, secret passages, and tunnels.

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University of Miami

University of Miami

: 5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd., 5th Floor, Coral Gables, FL 33146
: (303) 284-4535

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The University of Miami is offering a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program. It is designed for bachelor’s degree graduates who desire to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy and embark on a career in the modern era. It is a top-rank clinical program in the United States.

  • The university’s DPT is a 36-month, 106-credit program that encompasses 32 weeks of comprehensive clinical experience. It earned its accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
  • The program accepts graduates of any bachelor’s degree, provided all these prerequisite coursework are completed. They must also complete these courses with a minimum grade of 3.0 or “B:”
  • English Composition
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Psychology
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry with Lab
  • General Physics with Lab
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • To qualify for admission to the university’s DPT program, there are specific requirements that you need to comply with:
  • A bachelor’s degree and GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A completed online application submitted through PTCAS
  • At least 100 verifiable hours of observation of work or volunteer experience related to physical therapy
  • Three to four letters of recommendation:
  • One letter should come from a licensed physical therapist
  • One or more letters may come from former professors
  • A possible interview if you qualify for admission

Standout Features of the University of Miami’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

To produce brilliant and highly competent physical therapy professionals, the DPT degree program of the University of Miami features advanced clinical training through residency programs in six major areas of focus: 

  • Orthopedics Therapy
  • Sports Therapy
  • Neurologic Therapy
  • Geriatric Therapy, and
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Therapy

The residency faculty of the university is a leader in physical therapy programs across the US. They are committed to providing students with knowledge and skills that demonstrate their proficiency in patient care and clinical reasoning, and judgment in the practice of physical therapy.

Did you know?

Action stars Dwayne Johnson and Sylvester Stallone both studied at the University of Miami.

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University of Washington-Seattle

University of Washington - Seattle

: 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195
: 206-598-5333

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Washington-Seattle aims to produce graduates with exceptional knowledge and skills as generalists in physical therapy.

  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Washington is a 165-167-credit program you can complete in three years.
  • The DPT program of the University of Washington is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
  • Graduates of UW’s DPT program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Examination. It’s a key that can open doors for you to a rewarding career in physical therapy.
  • If you wish to become a part of the University of Washington-Seattle’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, you should comply with these requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree
    • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
    • Completion of at least 50% of these prerequisite courses,
    • A minimum of 25 verifiable hours of physical therapy-related experience under the direct supervision of a physical therapist
    • A completed online application through the PTCAS
    • Official transcripts
    • Personal statements
    • Three to four letters of recommendation
      • One letter must be from a licensed physical therapist you have assisted
      • The other letters may come from professors, employers, academic professionals, and healthcare professionals
    • GRE scores
    • Proof of English proficiency if English is not your primary language
    • A possible criminal history background check

Standout Features of the University of Washington-Seattle’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

The University of Washington hosts one of the best institutions for rehabilitation medicine in the United States. Its Doctor of Physical Therapy program is one of the best in the country. It has proven time and time again its capability to produce outstanding graduates, which include:

  • A 100% graduation rate for its Class of 2019 and 2020
  • A 100% pass rate for licensure examinations for its Class of 2019 and 2020, and
  • A 100% Average employment rate for its 2019 and 2020 classes.

These feats are made possible by the UW faculty of renowned researchers and clinicians who excel in rehabilitation medicine. On top of these, the University of Washington is your key to getting access to more than 400 clinical sites – to provide you with a rich clinical learning experience.

Did you know?

Willard Geer, a 1927 physics graduate from the University of Washington, invented the color television process.

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Kansas University Medical Center

University of Kansas Medical Center School of Medicine

: 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160
: (913) 588-5000

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Kansas University Medical Center is designed to provide students with skills in physical therapy that could be applied to the clinical world.

  • The DPT at KUMC is a three-year, 110-credit hour program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). It also meets the educational requirements required to qualify you for a sit in the National Physical Therapy Exams.
  • To be qualified for the University of Washington’s Doctor of Physical therapy degree program, you need to comply with these specific requirements:
    • A bachelor’s degree
    • Holders of undergraduate degrees from other fields are required to complete these prerequisite courses
    • An overall cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • GRE scores
    • Three recommendation letters – one must come from a licensed physical therapist
    • A background check
    • A completed online application through the PTCAS
    • Official transcripts
    • Payment of a $75 supplemental application fee

Standout Features of Kansas University Medical Center’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Kansas University Medical Center is committed to developing students into experts and caring medical therapists who will embody the ideals of the profession. Its Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program is for individuals who aspire to improve the human quality of life by helping people achieve optimized movement and functional potentials.

Did you know?

Kansas University graduates have made a lot of important discoveries in medical science, including the discovery of Vitamins A and D.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy, as a branch of rehabilitative care, utilizes equipment and methods specially designed to restore or improve the physical abilities of injured or sick individuals. It is intended for adults whose movements are impaired due to stroke, injury, or other illnesses and infants with congenital musculoskeletal disabilities.

What is a Doctor of Physical Therapy?

A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is a three-to-four-year post-baccalaureate degree that you can earn upon completing a duly accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Graduates of Master of Physical Therapy degree may pursue a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree to qualify for the licensing exams for physical therapists in all 50 states.

To qualify for admission to a DPT program, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree and complete specific coursework, including Anatomy, Biology, and Physiology. 

Best Doctor of Physical Therapy - fact

What’s the difference between a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy degree?

Once you decide to take the path leading to a degree in physical therapy, you should know that it has two doctorate programs. These are the Doctor of Physical Therapy and the Ph.D. in Physical Therapy. While both degrees refer to the same subject, they’re not the same, and you need to identify their differences. 

As a clinical doctorate program, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program qualifies you to sit in the National Physical Therapy Examination, a major requirement for obtaining a PT license. 

The Ph.D. in Physical Therapy, on the other hand, is a philosophical doctorate. It’s the program that leads to a Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy. It’s the degree you need to become a university professor. 

So there you go. This information should help to give you a clear and definite direction for your goal. 

What factors should I consider when looking for a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program?

There are lots of schools that offer the DPT program, but they’re not equal. When looking for a competent DPT school, you should consider a lot of factors, including:

  • Incoming Grade Point Average
  • Student/Teacher Ratio
  • Graduation Rate
  • Program cost
  • Licensing exam passing rate
  • Employment Rate of their Graduates

What careers can a Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate pursue?

As projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thousands of jobs nationwide are available for physical therapists in various settings. These include hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports training and fitness centers, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing care facilities, patient homes, and schools. 

There is a big demand for physical therapists in the US Millions of Americans need the help of physical therapists every day to alleviate their pain or restore their functional limitations resulting from an illness or injury. Physical therapists play a major role in ensuring the overall fitness of affected individuals. It is an essential element in people’s quest for a better quality of life.

As a physical therapist, your knowledge and skills are needed for leadership roles in developing and delivering health care policies and programs of your organization or community.

Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor